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Charles Merrill "Charlie" Johnson


1941 - 2015 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Charles Merrill "Charlie" Johnson Obituary
November 2, 1941 - June 17, 2015 Charlie passed away on Wednesday, June 17th while on a fly fishing trip in Montana. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Katrin "Kathy" Brun. He was born in New York City on November 2nd, 1941 to Dorthy Cooperrider and Daniel W. Johnson, a career FBI agent. In 1945, the family moved to Columbus, Ohio. Charlie attended local schools and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Ohio State University, where he met his bride to be. From 1964-1967, Charlie served in the United States Army. He completed both Officers Candidate and Army Ranger schools. The completion of Ranger training was one of Charlie's proudest moments. He saw combat in Vietnam and concluded his military service as a First Lieutenant. He distinguished himself by earning the Bronze Star with Valor, Purple Heart, Vietnam Service Medal, Presidential Citation and was recommended for a Silver Star. In 1967 Charlie joined Wells Fargo Bank and his storied banking career began. First he served as a personnel officer recruiting MBAs for the bank and then he went into International Banking. With "Kathy" he served abroad in Managua, Nicaragua and Hong Kong. In 1975, Charlie relocated to San Francisco, Wells Fargo's headquarters, where he began working in the Real Estate and Commercial Banking groups. The bank nominated him for the "Sloan Fellow" program at Stanford University and he obtained his Master's degree from Stanford's Graduate School of Business. Charlie was eventually promoted to Vice-Chairman and supervised all of the bank's wholesale activities, real estate lending and commercial banking from his offices in Orange County. In 1998 Charlie retired to pursue his hobbies of hunting, fishing, automobiles, wine and race horses. An avid outdoorsman, Charlie made a practice of living his life with integrity and fairness, the coveted attributes of true sportsmen. These qualities made him a great leader and also guided his charitable and volunteer efforts. Charlie served on the Orange County Red Cross Board of Directors and received the Red Cross Spirit Award in 1988. He was very active with the Orange County United Way and was on the Hoag Hospital, 552 Club Board of Directors. He was also part of the Newport Harbor Art Museum Business Council and active in Big Brothers/Big Sisters. Charlie was a member of The Tuna Club of Avalon, Balboa Angling Club, Newport Harbor Yacht Club, Big Canyon Country Club, Trout Unlimited, Buckeye Farms, The Duck Club and The Ventura County Game Preserve. Charlie was also a member of the Coldwater Conservation and the Bessemer Trust Boards. Most recently, he was very involved in supporting the Navy Seal Foundation, Army Rangers and Special OPS Survivors. Charlie's sense of purpose, dignity and compassion are rare qualities, which served him well during his 73 years. In lieu of flowers, donations in Charlie's name can be sent to: SPECIAL OPS WARRIOR FOUNDATION P.O. Box 89367 Tampa, FL 33689 Or St. Luke's Wood River Hospital Foundation P.O. Box 7005 Ketchum, Idaho 83340 Expanding Oncology Infusion Services
Published in the Los Angeles Times from July 2 to July 5, 2015
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